Females rejoice. A movie about women who love making money and written, produced, directed by women who love making films. If only the story was just as interesting to watch as it was passionately made.
Equity shares the story of women working and competing for greed on wall street, highlighting the focus on what is predominantly a male-dominated environment. Anna Gunn leads the female powerhouse, as senior investment banker Naomi Bishop, clawing her way to the top of her investment firm. Soon she begins to become entrapped with a game of scandal and corruption which seeks to destroy everything she has worked hard for. It’s a new take on the successful Wall Street series but unfortunately doesn’t reach quite the same heights for up and coming director Meera Menon.
To the films credit, Equity stands on its own as a film about crime and exploitation unpunished on the high stakes. There are times where the screenplay by Amy Fox acts as a meta form of text by including specific scenes highlighted to showing how Naomi views money as not a dirty word but one that empowers her. That as a woman it’s ok to drive for ambition and to look after oneself which represent the fact that this was made by an all-female production. Thankfully these scenes don’t distract you from the overall plot at hand. Aside from these examples, the film moves at a steady pace and is focused purely on setting the next scene of conflict. My initial worries of it being a film that overtly pushes this agenda of “girl power” were henceforth squashed and anyone can enjoy this as a film portraying the hidden dealings of wall street.
Having said that, I only wish these dealings were more interesting to watch. Don’t get me wrong, it still presents a smart and creative plot to watch but that’s only to a certain extent. It doesn’t go above and beyond for what I want it to be. It’s fairly predictable and does nothing that causes me to be shocked, surprised or even invested too greatly. Anna Gunn’s performance was fine but I couldn’t help but not care what happened to her character since I knew what was coming. Supporting characters also just served as tools to move the plot along without attracting much substance. You go away from watching several consequences occurring and not caring about any of them.
So is this proof that an all-female production is a bad idea? Not exactly. There are still great films written, produced and directed by women such as Lost In Translation by Sofia Coppola. Could this have been a better venture? Yes. As it stands, Equity is a passable economic thriller but one that remains just passable. I recommend waiting for it till it comes out on DVD….if that eventually does happen.